September 24th.--In the morning I rose, light and cheerful, nay, intensely happy. The hovering cloud cast over me by my aunt's views, and by the fear of not obtaining her consent, was lost in the bright effulgence of my own hopes, and the too delightful consciousness of requited love. It was a splendid morning; and I went out to enjoy it, in a quiet ramble in company with my own blissful thoughts. The dew was on the grass, and ten thousand' gossamers were waving in the breeze; the happy redbreast was pouring out its little soul in song, and my heart overflowed with silent hymns of gratitude and praise to Heaven.

But I had not wandered far before my solitude was interrupted by the only person that could have disturbed my musings, at that moment, without being looked upon as an unwelcome intruder: Mr Huntingdon came suddenly upon me. So unexpected was the apparition, that I might have thought it the creation of an over excited imagination, had the sense of sight alone borne witness to his presence; but immediately I felt his strong arm round my waist and his warm kiss on my cheek, while his keen and gleeful salutation, `My own Helen!' was ringing in my ear.

`Not yours yet,' said I, hastily swerving aside from this too presumptuous greeting--`remember my guardians. You will not easily attain my aunt's consent. Don't you see she is prejudiced against you?'

`I do, dearest; and you must tell me why, that I may best know how to combat her objections. I suppose she thinks I am a prodigal,' pursued he, observing that I was unwilling to reply, `and concludes that I shall have but little worldly goods wherewith to endow my better half? If so, you must tell her that my property is mostly entailed, and I cannot get rid of it. There may be a few mortgages on the rest--a few trifling debts and encumbrances here and there, but nothing to speak of; and though I acknowledge I am not so rich as I might be--or have been--still, I think, we could manage pretty comfortably on what's left. My father, you know, was something of a miser, and, in his latter days especially, saw no pleasure in life but to amass riches; and so it is no wonder that his son should make it his chief delight to spend them, which was accordingly the case, until my acquaintance with you, dear Helen, taught me other views and nobler aims. And the very idea of having you to care for under my roof would force me to moderate my expenses and live like a Christian--not to speak of all the prudence and virtue you would instil into my mind by your wise counsels and sweet, attractive goodness'

`But it is not that,' said I, `it is not money my aunt thinks about. She knows better than to value worldly wealth above its price.'

`What is it then?'

`She wishes me to--to marry none but a really good man.'

`What, a man of "decided piety"?--ahem!--Well, come, I'll manage that too! It's Sunday to-day, isn't it? I'll go to church morning, afternoon, and evening, and comport myself in such a godly sort that she shall regard me with admiration and sisterly love, as a brand plucked from the burning. I'll come home sighing like a furnace, and full of the savour and unction of dear Mr Blatant's discourse--'

`Mr Leighton,' said I, dryly.

`Is Mr Leighton a "sweet preacher", Helen--a "dear, delightful, heavenly-minded man"?'

`He is a good man, Mr Huntingdon. I wish I could say half as much for you.'

`Oh, I forgot, you are a saint, too. I crave your pardon, dearest--but don't call me Mr Huntingdon, my name is Arthur.'

`I'll call you nothing--for I'll have nothing at all to do with you, if you talk in that way any more. If you really mean to deceive my aunt as you say, you are very wicked; and if not, you are very wrong to jest on such a subject.'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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